We bet you didn’t know that…

1. Zackquill Morgan, the founder of Morgantown, arrived in the area in 1767.

2. He settled the area in 1772, establishing a farm near what would become Fayette Street and University Avenue.

3. The city was not formerly charted, however, until February 3, 1838.

4. The Old Stone House on Chestnut Street was built in 1796 and is a good example of what homes used to look like on what was then the frontier.

5. There are two other Morgantown’s incorporated in the United States, one in Kentucky and one in Indiana.

6. Our Morgantown is both older and bigger than the other two.

7. The PRT in Morgantown is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Wikipedia (Public Domain)

Wikipedia (Public Domain)

8. When it opened in 1975, it was three years behind schedule and cost 3-4 times what had been estimated.

9. Expanding the PRT would cost an estimated $30-40 million per mile.

10. Sunnyside was once the home of the massive (and unofficial) back-to-school Grant Street Block Party. The University shut it down after two people were shot in 1995.

11. The highest temperature ever recorded in Morgantown was 106 in September 1953.

12. The lowest temperature: -21 in January 1982.

13. Dorsey’s Knob rises about 600 feet above the surrounding landscape, making it about the height of the Washington Monument.

14. Suncrest was an incorporated as its own town from 1937 to 1949.

The view from Dorsey's Knob in Morgantown (Wikipedia/Brian Pennington CC 2.0)

The view from Dorsey’s Knob in Morgantown (Wikipedia/Brian Pennington CC 2.0)

15. Due to deed restrictions, African Americans were barred from owning property in much of the city though the middle of the 20th century. Suncrest also barred immigrants and Jews.

16. Schools in Morgantown remained segregated by race until 1954.

17. The Metropolitan Theater opened in 1924 and is a scaled down version of New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House.

18. A short list of people who performed there in the 30’s: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Helen Hayes, and Jack Benny.

19. Don Knotts worked at the Warner Theater on High Street while he attended WVU.

20. The now-closed Warner was listed for sale in 2014 for $1.2 million.

21. Though the city own the Met, a city official told Morgantown Magazine in 2014 it was unlikely Morgantown would buy the Warner too.



22. WVU’s first name was the West Virginia Agricultural College. It was changed to West Virginia University a year after it opened in 1867 by the state legislature.

23. On game days, Mountaineer Field becomes the largest city in West Virginia. It can hold 65,000 people.

24. John Denver sang “Country Roads” at the new Mountaineer Field on the day it opened: September 6, 1980.

25. In the fall of 2015, 28,776 students were enrolled on WVU’s main campus in Morgantown.

26. WVU owns 430 buildings in Morgantown.

27. The average GPA of a freshman entering WVU in the fall of 2015 was 3.45.

28. The entire length of the Mon River is navigable, thanks to a series of locks and dams. The Morgantown Lock and Dam is one of nine on the way to Pittsburgh from Fairmont.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

29. The Lock was built in 1950, replacing a stone and timber lock that was built between 1897 and 1903.

30. Monongahela is a Native American word meaning “falling banks.”

31. Monongalia County is named after the Monongahela, but historians are unsure if the alternate spelling was a mistake or a planned “latinization” of a native word.

32. Its believed some large trees in the Core Arboretum are over 200 years old.

33. The name of Morgantown High’s mascot, the Mohigan, comes from the name of the school’s yearbook: MOrgantown HIGh ANnual.

34. It’s the second largest high school in the state of West Virginia.

35. University High was once part of WVU as a “demonstration school,” it was turned over to the county in 1972.

Morgantown High

Morgantown High

36. The Dominion Post is the result of many newspaper mergers over the years, including the Morgantown New Dominion, Morgantown News and the Morgantown Post.

37. Until 1881, the courtyard in front of the Mon County Courthouse was the home of the county’s public whipping post, stocks and pillories.

38. The “new” courthouse was built in 1891 for $53,000. That’s about $1.4 million in today’s money.

39. The first event ever held at the Coliseum was a Grand Funk Railroad concert in 1970.

via CardCow.com

via CardCow.com

40. A famous astrologer predicted the Coliseum would collapse on its opening night. It didn’t.

41. Star City was founded in 1907 and named for the Star Glass Company, which made lamp chimneys for oil lamps.

42. Until the 50’s, the only way to cross the Mon in Star City was by ferry. The first Star City Bridge opened in 1950, the second in 2002.

43. The winner of the original Survivor, Richard Hatch, served 3 years at the Federal Correctional Institute in Morgantown for tax evasion. He had failed to report income, including the $1 million he won on Survivor.

What other obscure facts should be on this list? Tell us in the comments!

MORE: 24 Photos of Morgantown in the 60’s and 70’s